Thu 18 Mar 2010
Even the larger scooters are not appropriate for freeway travel, and on a smaller scooter, even a freeway legal 150 cc model, it is very clearly hazardous. With the smaller wheel size of the scooter, even minor road irregularities can lead at the very least to lurching about and may cause one to become periodically airborne. Not a good idea.
Hazards of Freeway Scootering
Another significant danger is that of debris on the roadway. The sudden appearance of a package of creamed spinach emerging from under the car ahead is of no moment to the driver of a car, but can cause consternation and justifiable panic on the part of a scooterist whose wheel is about to find itself lumping over the object at high speed (see scooters and potholes). There is a built-in contradiction when it comes to small wheels and high speeds that makes freeway motorscootering less than ideal.
The disadvantages of off-freeway commuting
The non-freeway alternative is not made for distance driving. Traffic lights, and the ultimate ecological abomination, the stop sign, reduce commuting efficiency while plaguing the scooterist with irritation and the scooter with much added wear-and-tear.
Finding good off-freeway routes
There do exist some very nice, and often unexplored, passageways through city and suburb if only one can find them. What one needs to find is a road with few if any stops. It need not have a high speed limit as 35 is a very comfortable speed on a scooter commute and curves are of no great consequence as the scooter’s ability to bank on a good quality road allows it to maintain that basic speed without slowing noticeably. A good long winding road can be an utter delight on a scooter where it might be a headache in a car. Though normal maps provide little information of value to the scooterist about stops and controlled intersections, the Google map street view does make this possible. Just drive the virtual streets for a while, seeking out the best possible routes. One can even do a tally of stop-signs, signals, dips, bumps etc. for each of several routes, and then possible time them. If one is seeking a commuting route for use everyday, a little bit of time spent scouting could in the long run same many hours of communing.
The freeway isn’t always any faster
Most commuters do their traveling when the motorway is highly congested. The ability of a scooter to skirt and penetrate blockages can be a very enviable characteristic when vying with the rest of the commuting public for a slight time advantage. All else being equal, the freeway and freeway capable vehicles have an undeniable advantage, but all else is rarely equal and circumstances can easily be in favor of the scooterist who has done a little research.